Gut feeling’ remains an important element in decision-making among business leaders even when plenty of data is available, according to a new study. Nine in every 10 executives surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said if the available data contradicted their intuition, that they would reanalyse it, ignore it or collect more information. Just 10pc said they would take the course of action suggested by the data.
At the same time, more than half of the 174 executives surveyed described themselves as either “empirical”, meaning they run tests before making decisions, or “data-driven” meaning they collect and analyse data prior to reaching a conclusion. “Most decision-makers consider themselves evidence-based but at the same time highly reliant on intuition,” said Pete Swabey, who led the EIU study, which was commissioned by predictive analytics software company Applied Predictive Technologies.
He added that the two types of decision-making are not necessarily contradictory, since ‘gut feeling’ tends to be based on past experience.